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Jones-Drew says greatness in NFL comes from "want-to"

nfl_jones-drew1_250.jpgSince SI.com’s Peter King is hanging out in South Africa with small lions (we’ve seen photographic evidence of young Simba pondering whether King’s head would be enough to eat for lunch), a diminutive Jaguar has taken the wheel of King’s signature Monday Morning Quarterback column.

And running back Maurice Jones-Drew explains something that we have long believed:  NFL success combines the excellent talent that gets men a shot at the pro level with a desire to become great.

“While others are sleeping or partying, the great ones are running hills,
lifting weights and studying film,” Jones-Drew writes.  “They do this not because a coach has
instructed them to do so.  They do it because they simply desire to be
the very best
.”

Jones-Drew explains that the “formula has always been and always will be the same:  Talent + ‘Want-To’ = Greatness.”

Another excellent observation comes from Jones-Drew’s explanation that “the pursuit of greatness forces the athlete to put his ego aside and face the limitations of his athletic ability.”  Jones-Drew thinks that the struggle to improve only a little bit prompts some to “accept mediocrity, especially when average pay at the NFL level is pretty darn good.”

While reading the column, we kept thinking of the obvious comparison between the former UCLA tailback and his cross-town rival.  You know, the guy who had the fame, the hype, and the glory.  And, as it turns out, the money.

USC’s Reggie Bush entered the league with not an expectation but a presumption that he’d be the next Gale Sayers.  Though Bush hasn’t been horrible, he also hasn’t been special.  In four seasons, Reggie has rushed for 1,940 yards, averaging 4.0 yards per attempt.  Jones-Drew has more than doubled him up, with 3,924 yards and a 4.7-yard average.

Bush apologists can offer up a laundry list of excuses for that huge gap in performance.  And, yes, Bush has a Super Bowl ring.  But the fact remains that Jones-Drew has been a much better player, possibly because Bush has been willing to “accept mediocrity,” given the very high amount of money he has earned.

“For many,” Jones-Drew says, “just the thought of having to pay such a huge price is enough
to bail on greatness and simply get by.”

Though he calls no one out by name, his point becomes abundantly clear when considering the pro performances of the two men who entered the league simultaneously via the city that hasn’t had an NFL team since 1994.

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40 Responses to “Jones-Drew says greatness in NFL comes from "want-to"”
  1. Zane says: Jun 21, 2010 7:46 AM

    “Though he calls no one out by name, his point becomes abundantly clear when considering the pro performances of the two men who entered the league simultaneously via the city that hasn’t had an NFL team since 1994.”
    Pretty presumptuous, eh Florio? However, the man has a point. You have a guy who’s not built like your prototypical RB who has carved a place for himself as one of the top guys in the league. There’s literally nothing he can’t or doesn’t do. Ask Shawne Merriman.

  2. cside3 says: Jun 21, 2010 7:59 AM

    Oh look, Florio found a way to bash Reggie Bush. Gosh, he never does that, this is so surprising.

  3. mrmossy84 says: Jun 21, 2010 8:23 AM

    It also seems like you guys have the ‘desire’ to link stories to athletes who have nothing to do with the actual stories first being reported.
    Why don’t you focus on reporting on what is being said by the players instead of twisting words around and finding links to other individuals that have nothing to do with the primary story in the first place.
    Hell, we can bring up the fact how you want to be a real journalist, but lack the ‘desire’ to get out there and do investigative reporting/newsbreaking stories by yourself, instead all PFT does is copy/paste stories from media outlets and put your ‘spin’ on it, like this story resembles.
    It really hurts my head.

  4. Kay Bee says: Jun 21, 2010 8:28 AM

    Maurice Jones Drew is OBSESSED with Reggie Bush. It’s pathetic. Don’t worry Maurice, you’ll get to play in LA again.

  5. Al Davis is my Christ says: Jun 21, 2010 8:35 AM

    You can replace “in NFL” with “in life” and you will be just as accurate. As a teacher, one of my favorite things in class is when a student makes this same revelation. MJD is one of my favorite players because you can literally see this attiytude in the way he runs.

  6. blazklobucar says: Jun 21, 2010 8:57 AM

    a teacher with Al Davis is my Christ as a nickname??? Now THAT is a school I don’t want my kid to go to!

  7. SpartaChris says: Jun 21, 2010 9:05 AM

    Jones-Drew hits the nail on the head. His words aren’t just true in football, but in life as well. If more people gave up reality tv and started focusing on bettering themselves, you’d find we’d become a more prosperous nation.
    Instead we’re a nation of handouts and laziness. Greatness and success don’t come easy, otherwise everyone would do it.

  8. thegoldengod says: Jun 21, 2010 9:17 AM

    Reggie Bush is a bust—this may be the only thing we ever agree on Florio. I still hate you.

  9. jj jones says: Jun 21, 2010 9:41 AM

    “Kay Bee says:
    June 21, 2010 8:28 AM
    Maurice Jones Drew is OBSESSED with Reggie Bush. It’s pathetic. Don’t worry Maurice, you’ll get to play in LA again.”
    He isn’t obsessed with Reggie Bush. He is obsessed with being a great football player. Jones-Drew wants to be the greatest football player in NFL history. It probably won’t happen but he wants nothing but the best. He plays in the smallest market in the league and is a star. He made himself a star.

  10. Chris Fiorentino says: Jun 21, 2010 9:48 AM

    I did 4 years of college just to have a piece of paper when I went on interviews. I got a job making $50,000 out of college doing programming. I did it for 4 years, was up to around $65K, then left for another job making $80K. I have been working with computers for 15 years now, and make around $120K.
    If I were given $20 million right out of college, I probably would not have worked another day in my life. I would have invested the money, and lived off the interest.
    The fact is that why should guy like JaMarcus Russell work hard when he is drafted and given all that money? He worked hard through college, or at least hard enough that someone gave him life-changing money once he was done with college. Most people go to college for one reason, and one reason alone…to make more money when they get out. Period. If a football player works hard in college, and is rewarded with $20 million when graduating, and decides to rest, that’s not his problem. It is the owner’s problem. He isn’t being paid for what he will do. He is being paid for what he has done.
    The problem here is that the wrong people are being blamed. Sure, a guy like Reggie Bush “could” work harder. A guy like Russell “could” work harder. But WHY SHOULD THEY? It is the OWNERS who are at fault for giving money to guys who didn’t earn it yet. Blame the system, not the players.
    A guy like Jerry Rice, who worked his ass off all those years and may be the best player of all time has what now? He may have earned about as much as Russell did. Who is the sucker?

  11. nps6724 says: Jun 21, 2010 9:49 AM

    Yet I’ve never read one report that accused Reggie Bush of not working hard or trying to improve. He just wasn’t as good as the hype and when the hype compares to Gale Sayers, it’s going to be tough to live up to.
    And really if Gale Sayers played today, he wouldn’t be “Gale Sayers”. Let Reggie Bush play at his current size (which was Sayers’ size back then) against a bunch of guys who weren’t anywhere near his caliber of athlete and see what would happen. When Sayers played, there weren’t Dwight Freeney and Julius Peppers-type athletes. He didn’t play against 300-lb. DL and 4.3-running LBs.

  12. Kay Bee says: Jun 21, 2010 10:03 AM

    He isn’t obsessed with Reggie Bush. He is obsessed with being a great football player. Jones-Drew wants to be the greatest football player in NFL history. It probably won’t happen but he wants nothing but the best. He plays in the smallest market in the league and is a star. He made himself a star.
    ——————————————————–
    That’s all good, but he is obsessed with Reggie Bush. Google Jones-Drew and Bush and you’ll see all types of quotes from him about Reggie.

  13. salmen76 says: Jun 21, 2010 10:11 AM

    Jones Drew ain’t even a pimple on Reggie’s a$$! Reggie Bush is the MAN. Let’s see, the Saints got Reggie Bush in 2006 and the team had never even been to a championship game. Now, the Saints have played in 2, won one and the Super Bowl. The Jaguars have Jones Drew and some nice stats on Jones. But stats don’t win Championships. Special players do. We are Super Bowl Champions since we got Reggie Bush. That’s what its all about. Spin it any way you want to, but winning the Super Bowl is paramount. Anything short of that and you have failed. One Super Bowl winner and 31 Losers every year. Especially the Loser Jaguars who can’t even sell tickets to their own games in a great place like FL. That goes to show ya just how bad the Jags suk. The Saints have sold out the Superdome like 15 years in a row……Top that Jags and Drew….ha ha….

  14. BigBear123 says: Jun 21, 2010 10:11 AM

    And really if Gale Sayers played today, he wouldn’t be “Gale Sayers”. Let Reggie Bush play at his current size (which was Sayers’ size back then) against a bunch of guys who weren’t anywhere near his caliber of athlete and see what would happen.
    ———–
    Sayers didn’t consistently run out of bounds to avoid contact though.
    Imagine Sayers could hold his own due to his work ethic and simply by not being scared to get hit.

  15. Alfie says: Jun 21, 2010 10:14 AM

    And really if Gale Sayers played today, he wouldn’t be “Gale Sayers”. Let Reggie Bush play at his current size (which was Sayers’ size back then) against a bunch of guys who weren’t anywhere near his caliber of athlete and see what would happen. When Sayers played, there weren’t Dwight Freeney and Julius Peppers-type athletes. He didn’t play against 300-lb. DL and 4.3-running LBs.
    So… you’re saying Reggie Bush is only good when un-equal caliber athletes are on the field… futhering Jones-Drews point?

  16. Bearing Down says: Jun 21, 2010 10:15 AM

    MJD was clearly a fan of Rookie of the Year. Chet Steadman already told us this years ago!

  17. ravensos says: Jun 21, 2010 10:23 AM

    @Bearing Down
    I was just about to post this. “Channel your have-to!”

  18. digitalbath says: Jun 21, 2010 10:28 AM

    King’s head would be enough for 2 prides to share,are you kidding me,his nugget has its own time zone

  19. jj jones says: Jun 21, 2010 10:30 AM

    “salmen76 says:
    June 21, 2010 10:11 AM
    Jones Drew ain’t even a pimple on Reggie’s a$$! Reggie Bush is the MAN.. ”
    And guess who the Saints would rather have?

  20. nps6724 says: Jun 21, 2010 10:40 AM

    “Sayers didn’t consistently run out of bounds to avoid contact though. Imagine Sayers could hold his own due to his work ethic and simply by not being scared to get hit.”
    He didn’t play against huge men either. Comparatively, Sayers was physically a big guy in his day. Bush, who is the same size Sayers was, isn’t a big guy in the NFL today. It’s a lot easier to “hold his own” when your opponents don’t dwarf you.
    “So… you’re saying Reggie Bush is only good when un-equal caliber athletes are on the field… futhering Jones-Drews point?”
    No, I’m saying expecting him to be Gale Sayers was foolish and stupid. Even Adrian Peterson, considered by many the best RB currently in the NFL, hasn’t been as good as Sayers was.
    MJD’s point was “talent + ‘want to’ = greatness”. The quality of athlete on the field doesn’t really come into play with that point.

  21. ZombieRevolution says: Jun 21, 2010 10:58 AM

    “Bush apologists can offer up a laundry list of excuses for that huge gap in performance. And, yes, Bush has a Super Bowl ring. But the fact remains that Jones-Drew has been a much better player, possibly because Bush has been willing to “accept mediocrity,” given the very high amount of money he has earned.”
    Unlike a professional journalist, Florio lets his bias enter too often into his posts. Does Florio know how much time Bush has done in the film room and in the weight room? No, of course not, that would be research and not opinion. Jones-Drew numbers are good, especially considering it took him three years to beat out Fred Taylor to become the starting RB of his team. How would Jones-Drew have done on a pass happy NO team? Florio is the yapping poodle of NFL journalism.
    PFT apologists will continue to say that Florio is a valid source of unbiased NFL information despite evidence otherwise.

  22. comment_submission_error says: Jun 21, 2010 11:13 AM

    Why would the lion want to eat Peter King’s head? It would be like dining on a big bowl of crap.

  23. jj jones says: Jun 21, 2010 11:24 AM

    “He didn’t play against huge men either. Comparatively, Sayers was physically a big guy in his day. Bush, who is the same size Sayers was, isn’t a big guy in the NFL today. It’s a lot easier to “hold his own” when your opponents don’t dwarf you.”
    That would explain Chris Johnson, huh? Or Jamaal Charles?

  24. KM91 says: Jun 21, 2010 11:29 AM

    Salman76, you’re an idiot. The Saints won despite Reggie Bush, than because of Reggie Bush. He’s not even the best Running Back on the Saints’ roster.
    And I know you, as a Saints fan, shouldn’t be talking about failure considering it took you guys 42 years to even get to a Super Bowl and 39 to even get to a Championship game. Hell, we’re talking about the home of the ‘Aints. It’s funny how FINALLY winning a Super Bowl makes fans arrogant.

  25. jj jones says: Jun 21, 2010 11:42 AM

    ” Jones-Drew numbers are good, especially considering it took him three years to beat out Fred Taylor to become the starting RB of his team. How would Jones-Drew have done on a pass happy NO team?”
    Are you joking? Jones-Drew got plenty of carries with Fred Taylor. Check the numbers buddy. It’s not like he was sitting on the bench. And how would he do in pass happy NO team? Better than Bush.

  26. eballa1 says: Jun 21, 2010 12:38 PM

    You play to win the game. Bash Bush all you want MJD & Florio, but as you said, Bush has a SB ring.
    While we’re at it:
    Super Bowl Rings:
    Bush 1
    MJD 0
    Mario Williams 0

  27. nps6724 says: Jun 21, 2010 12:48 PM

    “That would explain Chris Johnson, huh? Or Jamaal Charles?”
    They are exceptions to the rule. Johnson is only the 6th player to rush for 2000 yards and Charles is the only player to ever top 1100 rushing yards on 200 or fewer attempts. Those feats aren’t commonplace.

  28. Jag4Life says: Jun 21, 2010 1:20 PM

    salmen76 says:
    June 21, 2010 10:11 AM
    Jones Drew ain’t even a pimple on Reggie’s a$$! Reggie Bush is the MAN……….Especially the Loser Jaguars who can’t even sell tickets to their own games in a great place like FL. That goes to show ya just how bad the Jags suk. The Saints have sold out the Superdome like 15 years in a row……Top that Jags and Drew….ha ha….
    ————————————————–
    I understand that you’re a homer, but even a non-football enthuseist as yourself should know MJD is a better running back the Bush. Bush had all the hype out of college, rightfully so. But at this point right now any GM would take MJD over Bush anyday of the week and twice on Sunday.
    As far as selling out Superdome. It’s been more like 12 years and that was from the excited of drafting Ricky Williams. Before that you guys couldn’t sell slop to a pig. You were called the “AIN’Ts” after all. But I get it, ONE superbowl and now you’re on cloud nine. How soon we forget the past. Throwing stones living in a glass house.

  29. nps6724 says: Jun 21, 2010 1:39 PM

    “As far as selling out Superdome. It’s been more like 12 years and that was from the excited of drafting Ricky Williams.”
    So Ricky Williams kept selling games out for the Saints while he was baked in Miami? Talk about mass appeal.

  30. Kay Bee says: Jun 21, 2010 1:55 PM

    But I get it, ONE superbowl and now you’re on cloud nine. How soon we forget the past. Throwing stones living in a glass house.
    ————————————————-
    But the Jaguars have NONE…and they’re still on that short list of teams to have never played in a Super Bowl.

  31. KM91 says: Jun 21, 2010 3:11 PM

    We’ve only been around for 16 years, Kay Bee. The Saints have been around since 1967, there’s a big difference, especially considering that they were still on that short list just six months ago.

  32. Kay Bee says: Jun 21, 2010 3:51 PM

    KM91 says:
    June 21, 2010 3:11 PM
    We’ve only been around for 16 years, Kay Bee. The Saints have been around since 1967, there’s a big difference, especially considering that they were still on that short list just six months ago.
    ————————————————
    Yes…but you can’t say Saints fans are in a glass house since they won a Super Bowl! God forbid fans are happy when their teams wins one. Hopefully you’ll know that feeling one day…not anytime soon though.

  33. KM91 says: Jun 21, 2010 4:36 PM

    I never said anything about not being happy after winning a Super Bowl, Kay Bee. I’m just saying that before you put down other teams for not winning a Super Bowl yet, you should remember that you guys were in the same position not very long ago.
    As for knowing the feeling of having your team win the Super Bowl, I’m sure that it will come sooner rather than later.

  34. J. Clayton says: Jun 21, 2010 5:03 PM

    Jones-Drew plays the game with way more intensity than Bush.
    Check the Jags win over the Jets last year on NFL rewind, especially the first half. That guy was an entire WRECKING CREW carrying that offense on his shoulders.
    You’ll never, ever see Bush play like that.
    MJD is a much better football player than Bush.
    BTW – the Superdome looks like a concrete turd.

  35. Kay Bee says: Jun 21, 2010 6:18 PM

    J. Clayton says:
    June 21, 2010 5:03 PM
    Jones-Drew plays the game with way more intensity than Bush.
    Check the Jags win over the Jets last year on NFL rewind, especially the first half. That guy was an entire WRECKING CREW carrying that offense on his shoulders.
    You’ll never, ever see Bush play like that.
    MJD is a much better football player than Bush.
    BTW – the Superdome looks like a concrete turd.
    ————————————————–
    Check the Cardinals/Saints playoff game and Bush’s performance and come back and report your findings.
    As for the Superdome, well at least it sells out…and Jacksonville’s stadium?????

  36. GOVIKES|GOVIKES says: Jun 21, 2010 9:18 PM

    Let’s see, the Saints got Reggie Bush in 2006 and the team had never even been to a championship game. Now, the Saints have played in 2, won one and the Super Bowl. We are Super Bowl Champions since we got Reggie Bush.
    ——————————————
    The logic in this statement is unassailable.

  37. domehead says: Jun 21, 2010 9:47 PM

    I don’t want to be a Florio apologist (it would take too much time), but you can’t deny Reggie hasn’t played in the NFL at the level he played at USC. However, I don’t buy that it’s all because he isn’t ‘motivated’ to excel or to be great. Anyone who follows the Saints knows it’s more a result of playng in Sean Payton’s offensive system. Nobody except the quarterback is going to be a star on this offense. It’s very nature is to show as many players, schemes and lineups as possible to confuse the defense. It works great and it won a Superbowl (thanks to a decent defense), but no one else is going to star. Reggie fits this system perfectly because he is such an exceptional athlete. Even when he doesn’t touch the ball, he opens up the rest of the offense because of the threat he poses when he does get the ball. Give him credit, he’s put his ego aside and accepted this ‘team first’ role without complaint.

  38. jj jones says: Jun 22, 2010 7:47 AM

    “They are exceptions to the rule. Johnson is only the 6th player to rush for 2000 yards and Charles is the only player to ever top 1100 rushing yards on 200 or fewer attempts. Those feats aren’t commonplace.”
    And yet they occured against the same league Bush is playing against.

  39. nps6724 says: Jun 22, 2010 9:13 AM

    “And yet they occured against the same league Bush is playing against.”
    They did it against the same league Tomlinson, Peterson, Williams, Stewart, and a host of other good RBs played against as well and none of them set these records.
    Either way, my point isn’t Bush is a top RB; my point is Sayers wouldn’t have been “Sayers” if he played in this era. He’d probably still be very good, but he wouldn’t be one of the best RBs to ever play. He had the talent of a 21st-century RB in 1965. You put a lot of today’s RBs in 1965 and they’d be surefire HOFers as well.

  40. StillFly00 says: Jun 26, 2010 4:34 PM

    @ nps6724 – I’m sure you don’t think that NFL legends from back in the day were a bunch of midget-sized pansies… if anything, they played the game like REAL MEN without all of these sensitive roughing penalties. Hmm… No Julius Peppers back in the Sayers era??? What about Deacon Jones??? What about Dick Butkus??? What about Mean Joe Greene??? If those monsters played today they would get kill divas like Reggie Bush. Do me a favor… go to youtube and look up that hit laid on Reggie Bush by Sheldon Brown in the playoffs a couple years back, then look up the hit that Jones-Drew laid on a much “LARGER” Shawne Merriman who was a D.P.O.Y! LOL, clowns like you know nothing about football

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